Living with Credit Freezes

All went well until we applied for Medicare, both wife and I had fraudulent credit card (Chase Amazon) applications all of a sudden soon after applications. Just a data point for items to watch.

Placed credit freeze for free.

Just checked the statute in my state. For senior citizens like me freezing one’s credit is FREE . . FREE!!

Does that sound great or what!!

Course the thaws cost $10 a pop, but pay no attention to that. Focus instead on the FREE!! part.

What a sack of crap. Total scam.

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That’s unfortunate. Strange that your state legislators see the wisdom of making the freezes free, but not the thaws. I’m not a fan of federal law, but it is heartbreaking that the Equifax fiasco didn’t immediately result in legislation to make freeze/thaw done online free at will.

I’m fortunate that in my state where an unlimited freeze/thaws (if done online) are free. Otherwise credit card churning would be expensive.


Lots of people have different addresses on their credit report. Is there an opportunity here? I even have a PO Box on my report.


often bank will call you and ask for pin to give access so dont always have to unfreeze


With Sprint cell service, the automated credit check failed (as expected), however when I called their number they took my PIN verbally and checked my credit for free, that would have cost me in my state.

So my take away is to call and have them unfreeze for you.

I’ve never considered giving my PIN to the creditor. That would scare me.

If there’s a process to complete a thaw/freeze by talking to a human, I’d like to learn more about which bureau and which state, as that would be unusual. In my state, and I believe a few others, freezes and thaws are free … unless you involve a human … in which case they can charge you.

Isn’t there’s a way to create a temporary PIN? You wouldn’t give “your” PIN.

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A credit check is not required to sign up for any service. You should be able to pay a refundable deposit instead.

I’ve had no experience with that. I do know that when you do a thaw, you can target it to one particular creditor. But I’ve never gone down that path because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the exact name of the creditor or something otherwise would go wrong that the creditor wouldn’t be able to complete the credit check. For context, my usual scenario is that I’m getting a new credit card to churn and I want all the gods aligned for instant approval.

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It did scare me also, but the PIN is not 100% secure either. By answering a few questions on the reporting agency sites you can recover your PIN. Really just about anyone can do it.

had someone write checks on my account.
Was a pain to get fixed.
Froze all reports and its been good.
Stopped me from applying and now I am fixing my credit and paying down debt.

Again, it’s not the freezes. Heck, there is even talk now about all of us being granted the right to free freezes.

But it’s not about the freezes. It’s about the thaws. And for most of us short term thaws, for one reason or another, are (or would become) a simple fact of life.

Free freezes are worthless unless the thaws also are free. And if they do not talk about free thaws simultaneously then you know it’s a scam to steal our money/rip us off.


I believe that Senate bill 2155, as amended, which I believe was passed by the Senate this week, does also provide for free thaws. There is a similar House bill that would need to be reconciled but is expected to pass.

Upon receiving a direct request from a consumer that a consumer reporting agency remove a security freeze, and upon receiving proper identification from the consumer, the consumer reporting agency shall, free of charge, remove the security freeze not later than—

“(i) in the case of a request that is by toll-free telephone or secure electronic means, 1 hour after receiving the request for removal; or

“(ii) in the case of a request that is by mail, 3 business days after receiving the request for removal.


Ideally, I think it would be better if the credit bureaus handed out single use tokens to consumers that they in turn could give out to creditors or else contact the consumer for explicit permission each time their credit report is accessed. The credit freeze/thaw system is like leaving your front door unlocked for the day and going off to work because you are expecting the cable repairman to drop by. Maybe nobody else would come in and steal your stuff, but are you willing to take that chance?


That makes a lot of sense. Wish that were in place. It would help a lot if credit card companies, or lenders in general, would tell you “We use Experian for the credit check and our merchant ID is #1234567678” so that you could thaw one credit report for one inquirer.

But I’ve never had any potential credit card issuer say anything but “We use all three” which isn’t helpful. Maybe they are trying to prevent churners from shopping based on which bureau has the least hard inquiries at the time.

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Agreed. It all now is in effect. Here is a good reference to pursue any freezing/thawing one might wish to accomplish. This is dated September 20, 2018:

Clark’s guide to free freezing/thawing of your credit report

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